Discover 9 Incredible Places to See Fall Foliage Near Atlanta

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: January 24, 2023
© Sean Pavone/
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People who enjoy autumn frequently go to the Northeastern United States to view the vibrant leaves. Atlanta is one of the most underappreciated autumn foliage destinations in the nation, though! With plenty of trees, wonderful lakes, and open areas to soak in all those vivid reds, oranges, golds, and browns, this area is full of stunning and easily accessible state parks.

With a climax in late October or early November, Atlanta’s fall foliage season typically lasts from early October until mid-November. Some regions experience the color shift as early as late September, but for the most spectacular scenery of fall foliage within and around Atlanta, you should aim for the peak period.

When the breeze is exactly right and the leaves are prepared to swirl their way to the earth, “leaf showers” happen on their own. The wind swirls the leaves as they drop from the branches, producing a gorgeous rain. Keep an eye out for these since they make excellent still images and slow-motion videos. 

The best thing about autumn in Georgia is the temperate temperature, with daytime highs in the 70s and evening lows in the 50s. A light sweater or a lightweight jacket will do; there’s no need to carry several layers or large, cumbersome outerwear.

Roswell Mill and Historic Town Square

History and fall foliage can be combined in Roswell by visiting the local old town square and the Roswell Mill to observe the leaves. Visitors to the Mill can enjoy the beauty while hiking over the bridge and upward to a waterfall. The bridge is a favorite location for photographers. After that, walk less than half of a mile distance to Roswell’s famed town plaza. There, take in the lovely trees surrounding the square and tour Barrington Hall, a nearly 200-year-old mansion.

The fall at Roswell Mill in Georgia
The fall at Roswell Mill in Georgia is a prime location for viewing autumn foliage.

©John Trainor from Roswell, GA, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Blue Ridge

Even though Blue Ridge, a mountain community, is just 90 miles north of Atlanta, it feels like a completely different planet. It is tucked away in the Chattahoochee National Forest, which means that it is surrounded by walking trails, fish streams, waterfalls, and whitewater rafting. One can only imagine how this town will appear when Georgia’s fall foliage is in full bloom, as it is surrounded by more than 100,000 acres of National Forest. 

Due to the pure mineral springs that may be found there, Blue Ridge was first developed as a railroad town before becoming a luxurious resort. Tickets for the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway are still available. You’ll be able to board a train and enjoy a distinctive perspective of the changing foliage.

You can select between lodging in the town or lodging in the forest if you’re into camping if you want to spend more than one day taking in the Georgia fall foliage around Blue Ridge. In either case, you can count on waking up to a spectacular vista.

Fall Color in the Chattahoochee National Forest
Fall color in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Atlanta, GA.

©ChattOconeeNF, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Brasstown Bald

You must include Brasstown Bald on your schedule if you’re organizing a road trip to see the fall leaves near Atlanta. Georgia’s highest point is this mountain, which rises 4,784 feet above sea level. Its top has unrivaled 360-degree views of the Chattahoochee National Forest, making it the perfect place to observe the changing leaves! 

From this lofty perch, you can really see Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina if you decide to visit on a particularly clear day. We guarantee that the ascent is entirely worthwhile.

Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction only. Additionally, to make sure you go to Brasstown Bald on a sunny day, experts also suggest monitoring the weather. This will prevent the fog from obscuring your view of the fall foliage in North Georgia.

Brasstown Bald (mountain) with fall foliage
Rising 4,784 feet above sea level, Brasstown Bald is Georgia’s highest mountain. The visitor’s center is located on top of the mountain.

©ChattOconeeNF, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Sweetwater Creek State Park

A few miles west of the city is Sweetwater Creek State Park. There are many trees throughout the park, and there are roughly 12 miles of walking routes that wind through forests and farmland. Visit the New Manchester Mill ruins, a Mockingjay filming location, at the end of the one-mile Red/History Trail, which runs alongside Sweetwater Creek. 

The reservoir lake in the park is also suitable for paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Perhaps spending the night in the park’s campground or yurt village to take full advantage of the fall season there.

The New Manchester Mill ruins.
A scene from the movie Mockingjay was filmed at the New Manchester Mill ruins.

©Thomson M, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

The tallest waterfall in the state of Georgia may be found in Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, which is situated in the North Georgia mountains. It’s also a well-liked state park with a number of hiking paths where you can observe the fall foliage in Atlanta. 

The East Ridge Trail, which descends after taking you to the peak of the falls, is popular with visitors. The Approach Trail, which runs from Amicalola Falls to Springer Mountain and marks the official start of the Appalachian Trail, is a must-do for those looking for a more challenging climb. 

The Hike Inn Trail, which leads to Georgia’s sole backcountry inn, The Len Foote Hike Inn, is one of this park’s best-kept secrets. Keep in mind that bookings are necessary to hike this specific trek. The inn is frequently filled to capacity weeks in advance as well.

Amicalola Falls, Georgia
Amicalola Falls, Georgia, is one of the most stunning locations for leaf-peeping anywhere.

©Sean Pavone/

Island Ford Park

Island Ford Park, one of the three Sandy Springs Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) sections, is tucked away at the end of a series of twisting, tree-lined roadways in the northernmost tip of the city. This spot has been one of Atlanta’s greatest secrets while being one of the initial plots of land acquired for the CRNRA. 

This has made it possible for it to continue to be an unspoiled treasure of natural splendor. The historic Hewlett Lodge on Island Ford is host to the National Park Service’s main office. Three miles of pathways wind through the park’s autumnal foliage, along with wildflower meadows, sizable outcrops of rock that resemble caves, and an abundance of local fauna.

Hewlett Lodge, Sandy Springs, GA.
Hewlett Lodge, Sandy Springs, GA.

©Jftalley, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

You’ll have plenty of options at this autumn favorite, whether you’re looking to buy pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, harvest and holiday decorations, or picking pumpkins for your favorite seasonal sweets. While you’re visiting Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, take some autumnal family photos in the pumpkin patch, go on a hayride around the farm, or visit the farm store to buy some delectable delicacies. 

Although the pumpkin patch and shop are open every day, hayrides are only offered on weekends in November and every day in October. Free admission and parking; $6 per person for hayrides and children age two and younger are free.

Mountain Ziplining

What better vantage point from which to observe the autumnal color changes than inside the trees themselves? Visit Historic Banning Mills to experience one of the longest zip line courses in the world. 

There are four varying excitement levels to pick from. Pass a gurgling creek in West Georgia while flying through ten miles of forest. The pleasure is open to children as young as eight.   By WSBTV2 and the AJC, Banning Mills was named “Prettiest Place in Georgia” and “Best Weekend Getaway in Georgia.” Another fall-colored zip line trip with tents is offered by North Georgia Canopy Tours.

Dunwoody Nature Center

Dunwoody Nature Center has two miles of hiking trails that go through marshes and forests, among other different environments, providing a wide variety of stunning fall views. Children will appreciate experiencing nature up close and making use of all the center has to offer, including the enormous teepees, hammocks, tree huts, and waterways. 

Children can climb, crawl, and swing on a playground tucked away in the center of the dense vegetation as you admire the autumnal hues. The center also features a jam-packed program of events, including Free Friday Night Hikes where your kids can enjoy the sounds of the night while sipping hot cocoa, and Environmental Play where they can learn about various seasonal nature topics!

A little manmade waterfall at Wildcat Creek, Dunwoody Nature Center
A little manmade waterfall at Wildcat Creek, Dunwoody Nature Center

©JJonahJackalope, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

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Cloudland Canyon, Georgia, USA autumn landscape at dusk.
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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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